Choir and jazz band both have upcoming trips to New York City, while DECA already went in January.
Alumni relations director Pat Voss, who went with DECA on the trip, had positive reviews to offer.
“We attended four seminars a day, then did a group activity at night,” said Voss. “We’d go to a show on Broadway or a Knicks game. We went to the top of the Empire State Building…”
DECA got a chance to meet with several major companies, including AT&T AdWorks, ESPN, and Disney Productions. Members were shown a lot about the making of apps, including an app with facial recognition.
The group also met with the producer of Sport Center’s pro athlete commercials, then later with the vice president of Madison Square Garden.
DECA also had a little luck in its favor, as a residence issue with its intended lodging landed them instead down the street in a five-star hotel called the “W.” Voss had no complaints over this mistake however. “It was accidental, but we got to stay there.”
There was no additional cost for the nicer stay, but Voss remarked that the trip wasn’t inexpensive to start with, at about $1,600 per student, with fund raisers throughout the year lowering it to near $1,300.
Overall, Voss thought the trip had “experiences to offer that you just can’t find here.”
“It’s not a trip where you’re like, ‘Oh, I’m missing three days of school.’ New York shared a fantastic educational experience with us. It was a great opportunity for students to interact with big name corporations,” Voss said.
“I’ve been in education for 49 years. I’ve traveled all over the world with the band, and this is the best trip I’ve ever taken,” Voss said.
The band will go to New York over Spring Break.
Leaving the morning of the last day of school (before Spring Break) by plane, the jazz bands will stay at the Fairfield Inn in Manhattan across the street from Port Authority. Their schedule will include going to jazz clubs every night and going to several clinics throughout their six-day stay.
Band director Kevin Cole was able to set up clinics for his students at Queens College and NYU. “We’ll also be performing in a ‘Jazz Vespers’ service frequented by some of the best musicians in the city,” said Cole.
Transportation wise, Cole very specifically wanted a plane to get there rather than a bus. He said the band has traveled by bus before though.
“Flying will actually give us another full day in the city– as opposed to sitting on a coach bus for 18 hours each way,” said Cole. “We’ve stayed in New Jersey before, but with a two-hour commute, it’s just not worth the extra money to sit on a bus.”
Cole had opinions about where to eat in Manhattan as well. “We make an effort not to eat at the pre-packaged, cliche places like Hard Rock Cafe. We can eat at places like that in our own city.”
“Basically our main focus is to take in as much music and culture as we can in a relatively short amount of time,” Cole said.
Also traveling to New York in the upcoming weeks will be WGHS’s choirs. Their trip will overlap the jazz band’s, with departure planned for 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 11, and arrival back home on Sunday March 16.
Choir, unlike the other groups, will travel to New York City and back via three charter buses provided by Cavallo.
The benefit of this choice choice is a lower individual price. Each student’s price will be $890, about $1,000 less than the jazz band’s individual charge. However, a full day could be lost driving there and back.
Choir director Scott Kinworthy is excited for his students’ opportunity. “The price includes the buses, hotel, three evening dinners in New York, a Broadway Show ‘Newsies,’ the Empire State Building, Ground Zero and a dinner cruise around the island.”
“We’re staying in New Jersey and will drive into New York each day,” said Kinworthy, another difference from the DECA and jazz trips.